Best Restaurants: Where to Eat in St. Augustine, FL
Awhile ago we wrote an article about the best restaurants in St. Augustine Beach, and now we will focus this article on the best places to eat in downtown Historic St. Augustine!
St. Augustine prides itself on being the oldest city in the U.S., and after walking the stone streets hundreds of times the last few years, it seriously doesn’t feel like you are in America when in the historic district. Thankfully, the city has done a great job of preserving the history as so many buildings are registered as historic places.
St. Augustine is situated south of Jacksonville but north of Daytona, and I-95 runs very close to the downtown. Taking highway A1A from Jacksonville to St. Augustine is beautiful as it runs along the beach, but I strongly encourage anyone visiting St. Augustine to drive A1A to Daytona in the morning at sunrise just once!
Please check out our article on Southwest Airlines and find out how a companion can fly for free with you! Flying in to Jacksonville is super easy to get to St. Augustine.
If you have been to St. Augustine, please let us know your favorite places, and if you haven’t been, hopefully you will have some ideas when you do get to go!
In this article, I have included lots of pictures so that you can make a good decision when dining in St. Augustine, and Elizabeth and I decided to, once again, come to a consensus on what one thing to order when going to a particular restaurant.
You will notice that none of the restaurants are large chains, and we have personally eaten at all of them, most of them several times.
In downtown St. Augustine, the roads are mostly one-way, and the parking situation can be difficult for someone visiting for the first time; however, finding the best restaurant is not difficult at all!
Harry’s Seafood, Bar and Grille
Harry’s is that one place you can’t wait to visit as soon as you start planning the vacation! The restaurant is in a really old (yes, even old enough to have a ghost associated with it) house, and there are two stories of dining space. If the weather is nice, please choose to eat outside and listen to the live music!Louisiana Fondeaux Appetizer
There can be a wait at Harry’s around dinner time, but we usually get there around 4 PM as we have spent our day at the beach, showered, and are ready to eat! Harry’s is known for it’s Cajun/New Orleans style seafood, and as someone who has visited New Orleans multiple times, I seriously enjoy Harry’s food just as much as the food in New Orleans.
After looking at the menu, I realized we have had or someone in our family has had all of the entrees. If you are a shrimp and grits kind of person, then you won’t be disappointed with theirs. I was also very impressed with the Cajun seared tuna!
Possibly most surprising of all, the desserts are absolutely incredible! The Oreo beignets are to die for, and so is the bananas foster that is “concocted” right in front of you, just like in New Orleans!Crab crusted red fish
What to Order: For an appetizer, get the Louisiana Fondeax pictured above. For the entree, get the crab crusted red fish royale with the special mashed potatoes. For dessert, enjoy having the server mix the bananas foster before your table!
A1A Ale Works
As the name suggests, A1A Ale Works is a brewery that makes their own beer on site. It also has some really good seafood in a huge restaurant situated across the street from the bay. Probably my favorite part about the restaurant is the outdoor seating on the second floor balcony. If you dine at the right time, you are likely to see large ships pass under the retractable Bridge of Lions. It is beautiful at sunset!
The food is served in large portions and is seasoned really well. We have liked the shrimp and grits here, but we normally have to go with the blackened seared tuna.
They have all of the typical appetizers that you would expect, but the blue crab and artichoke dip is worth going in for in itself!
What to Order: Blue crab and artichoke dip as an appetizer with the entree being the blackened seared tuna.
Pizzalley’s is known by most visitors to St. Augustine from the entrance on the popular St. George Street. I would guess that many tourists go in and get the pizza by the slice and never know there is a full service, amazing restaurant if you keep walking through the entrance on St. George. The easier way to access the area called Pizzalley’s Schianti Room is to come in from the Charlotte Street entrance.
In addition to the normal pizza you would expect to find, there are some interesting combinations, none more famous than the Venetian Bruschetta! The calzone is large and full of flavor, and the pastas are very diversified. Do not overlook the lobster ravioli!
What to Order: For an appetizer, get the calamari. For a pizza, try to the Three Little Pigs pizza that is full of sausage, bacon, and Canadian bacon with smoked cheddar and mozzarella cheese.
The Bunnery Bakery and Cafe
I have to be honest, the first time we visited St. Augustine I only knew of this place because I was incredibly thirsty and needed some lemonade. The lemonade was really good, and Elizabeth liked the coffee. We eventually tried the breakfast meals, and now we set aside one morning for a visit to the Bunnery!
They have a large assortment of bagels and all of the normal breakfast meals, but the breakfast they serve on crossaints are amazing and huge! I know this picture doesn’t do it full justice, but trust me, this egg and cheese croissant is really big!
The next time I go I am ordering the Eggs Benedict, as I saw someone eating it the last time I was there and was jealous. We have also enjoyed the biscuits and gravy.
What to Order: the bacon, cheddar cheese, and egg croissant
Cousteau’s Waffle and Milkshake Bar
Cousteau’s is a dessert place that is unique, and we haven’t come across a place quite like it in all of our travels. Even though we have seen several waffle dessert restaurants, Cousteau’s has some combinations that I fully thought were going to be nasty, but were really good!
The names of the items on the menu are crazy, so be sure to read the description of what is in the item. The first time we visited I had a milkshake and came back for another a few days later, that is until I saw the waffle desserts.
Yes, it is big, it’s rich, it’s filling, and it has tons of chocolate and strawberries. Plan on sharing this with a buddy!
What to Order: The Kingsley-peanut butter, banana, and honey on a waffle topped with chocolate
Whetstone is not just the typical chocolate candy shop that you come across at most tourist locations. For example, we visit Kilwin’s every time we get a chance, and there are two Kilwin’s locations in St. Augustine. However, we don’t visit Kilwin’s in St. Augustine because of Whetstone!
Since 1967 Whetstone has been making homemade chocolate in St. Augustine, and they make everything from small truffles to huge bars, all with unbelievable flavor. In the shop on St. George Street, you can get ice cream or a milkshake that is super refreshing on a humid Florida afternoon.
Possibly my favorite thing about Whetstone is the chocolate tour that they offer. An adult ticket is only $8, but you get a $2 coupon for their store, plus you get to taste chocolate along the way to see which one you like the best!
What to Order: Milk chocolate toffee crunch shell
The Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops
The Hyppo has popsicles that really hit the spot when you can’t seem to cool off in the summer heat. Although we have seen flavors similar to what is served at the Hyppo, we never have felt as refreshed and cooled as when we eat their Ice Pops.
My favorite thing about the popsicles is that so many of them are completely fruit-based. The flavors show immediately how high-quality the fruit is, and I can’t think of a single time that I walk up St. George Street that I don’t find something new that I have to try.
What to Order: Cherry Key Lime or if you are feeling chocolate get the chocolate sea salt
If you have not been to St. Augustine and have been debating on a new beach to try, hopefully you now see that you won’t go hungry with the amount of awesome restaurants they have. Remember to read the St. Augustine Beach article about the best restaurants there, and realize that you are within 15 minutes of either St. Augustine or St. Augustine Beach.
Please let us know your favorite places in the comments!
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